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Anti-Tibetan violence at Anne's

April 29, 2008

Dean appeals for help after a student was attacked over a Tibetan flag.

Sarah Fleming
Cherwell - Oxford University student newspaper
Friday, 25 April 2008


A student at St Anne’s has been the victim of a violent attack over a
Tibetan Flag hanging outside her window.

Sophie Chao, a third year reading Chinese and Tibetan, was working in
her room around noon on Wednesday when she had stones “hurled at her
window”.

The offender, a Chinese male accompanied by two other girls, allegedly
picked up stones from the side of the quad and threw them at Chao’s open
window.

Chao said that she was unable to identify her attacker as she moved away
from the window to avoid being hit in the face by the stones; the
attacker was allegedly shouting “Fuck Tibet”.

She said, “He seemed intent on getting the code to my building so that
he could come up and confront me. He was fully aware that my window was
open and that he could potentially have hurt me.”

In an email sent to St Anne’s JCR, the Dean, Dr. Liora Lazarus,
condemned the attack. She said, “Such violent and intimidating behaviour
is simply not acceptable, and will not be tolerated in this college
under any circumstances.”

JCR President, Amaru Villaneauva Rance described the event as
“unacceptable”. He said, “I’m suspending judgement on the political
perspective but from a JCR perspective, we must look out for students,”

“Anyone can stand where they like on the political line but when it
comes to abusing someone else because of the stance they take, that’s
simply not right.”

Chao has denounced the behaviour of her attacker. She said, “It is
pathetic that the elite of China that Oxford welcomes is reduced to this
kind of petty and menial behaviour.”

She said that resorting to physical violence to make a point was never
acceptable, “[The stone-thrower] epitomises today’s China, that is
morally and ethically blind to a reality that is obvious to all.”

Chao said that she had reported the matter to the Dean who “allowed me
to look at photographs of all of our undergraduates as well as graduate
students, but I wasn’t really able to identify a single one.”

She added that looking at pictures of foreign exchange students may well
help her identify who the attacker was. In addition the Dean appealed to
students for more information about the attack.
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